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Settlers assault Palestinians in Hebron camp, army imposes 'blockade'

Oct. 5, 2015 12:44 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 5, 2015 2:49 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers on Monday violently assaulted two Palestinians, including a child, during clashes at al-Arrub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank, medics said.

Settlers reportedly assaulted 13-year-old Adham Musallam from Hebron and Muhammad al-Tarayra, 24, from the village of Bani Naim east of Hebron.

They were both transferred to hospital for treatment, medics told Ma'an.

‏Muhammad Badawi, a Palestinian Red Crescent coordinator in al-Arrub camp, said that Israeli soldiers arrivedafterwardat the refugee camp and fresh clashes broke out.

Israeli soldiers reportedly fired tear gas canisters at Palestinians' homes inside the camp as well as protesters, and many were reported to have suffered excessive tear gas inhalation.

Israeli forces were reported to have imposed a blockade on the refugee camp, preventing all Palestinians from entering or leaving, except for humanitarian cases.

Locals told Ma'an that the Israeli army said it was closing the camp in response to Palestinians throwing stones at settlers' vehicles.

A Ma'an reporter said that an Israeli military vehicle appeared to have closed the entrance of the camp, while another had closed the entrance of the nearby al-Arrub college and detained one of the students.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the reports.

Al-Arrub refugee camp lies along Route 60, a major West Bank road that Israeli settlers regularly use to reach a cluster of illegal Israeli settlements in Hebron.

Recent days have seen a surge of violent clashes across the occupied Palestinian territory, with the most recent outbreak prompted by Israeli military and settler reprisals following two deadly attacks on Israelis by Palestinians.

On Sunday evening, PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi condemned Israel for its "collective punishment" of the Palestinian people.

She warned that the attacks by both Israeli soldiers and settlers "prove that the Israeli government is deliberately creating a situation of violence and instability that threatens to spiral out of control."
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